https://www.instagram.com/sweech/ https://www.instagram.com/sweech/
top of page
Tulou
suzdal

Gunung Bunga Buah 1430m, Gohtong Jaya, Genting

Updated: Jun 28, 2023

The first thing that comes to any Malaysians when mentioned 'Genting' would be the concrete casino above the clouds! Hiking would be the last thing on anyone's mind.


This area has so much more to bargain for. The unique tropical montane forest is so rich in bio-diversity. The hike felt more like a stroll in an arboretum but with the extra drama of leech suckers, muddy encounters and traversing deep ascend and descend, through Hobbitan land. Hiking through the cloud forest, traversing on cushioned grounds, lined with soft mossy plants , and overhangs is absolutely rewarding as it is surreal!

Kuala Lumpur, Ulu Yam dam from the peak of Gunung Bunga Buah 1430m

Starting point: If you are coming from KL, just follow the route towards Genting. You can park your car at the commercial area in Gohtong Jaya The trailhead starts at the red altar of the guardian of the hill, the start elevation was 900m.

Hike Duration: Allow around 6-7 hours from the entrance of the jungle.

End Hike: It is a backtrack.

Hike Difficulty: 4/5 and 3/5 on dry season

Scenery Rewards: 4/5 Sweeping views of the Titiwangsa Range



Note: This hike is relatively moderate but highly dependent on the weather. It rains quite a bit here due to the geographic location, especially during the October-December monsoon period! The trail gets really slippery and muddy. It demands a different level of strength when the trail turns into this brown sticky monster! My body is still aching from yesterday's hike!

Updates: Instead of ascending from the Guardian alter, there are other entrance such as the one from the nursery that will lead you straight to the tarmac road with no farse, but a very huge sign as a reminder that you are trespassing private land.


There is a pry opening at the side of the gate, from the land next to the nursery


What to bring

1. Basic first aid utilities

2. Walking stick is a live saver especially when the trail turns into hot creamy chocolate!

3. Raincoat and Pancho ( you will be able to find them at any convenience store or Daiso shops for about RM6.00) it would certainly rain, so make sure you have one!

4. Torch if you are starting early in the morning

5. At least 2l of water, pack lunch, snack

6. Change of clothes, especially if you want to refresh yourself by the waterfalls at the end of the hike.

7. Good pair of hiking shoes is absolutely necessary

8. Gloves as you will be pulling and grabbing on to roots!

9. Check the weather forecast

10. A small bottle of spray with Listerine or Dettol in case of leech attack

11. The weather can range between 18-22 degrees Celcius. Bring warm clothes as it does get cool when you are at 1430m and worst if you are wet!



Start hike


Part 1 - mini slippery slope & tarmac road (1 1/2hour)

We took the way behind the shops and ascended the hill from the 'guardian alter'. We went up a slippery slope and hiked for about 30minutes to reach a tarmac road!

As we started in the dark, and it had rained earlier, this mini slope was indeed challenging!


Trail up to Gunung Bung Buah
After 30 minutes of tree, root, scrub pulling, sliding, falling........we finally pass only the entry point!

I must say I drained 30% of my energy just at the very start! The hill leading to the tarmac road was not steep, but the trail was very broken with no grip. There were 2 pooches that led us in the dark....and all the way to the rock garden (truly a man's best friend)

However, on my 2nd attempt to GBB on a dry spell, the trail is steep at some parts, but incredibly picturesque in the morning sun!


Trail from the alter way, but if it rains it is best to hit the tarmac road at the beginning

Tarmac road/ Abandon quarry



The 2 km tarmac road was once a trunk road to Genting.

This part is a pleasant stroll with fresh cool air and blooming flowers flanking both sides. At some point, you will walk past the rock face of the mountain with a muddy lake! Shrouded in mist, it does look mysteriously enchanting.


Tip: When you approach a clearing with thick fern thickets, on the right, is a lookout point of the Titiwangsa range!


Gunung Bunga Buah peak from the tarmac road-doesn't look so far but ...
Gunung Bunga Buah! Welcome to the jungle

At the sign GBB you will enter the jungle on the right leaving the tarmac road. I wonder where the tarmac road would lead if we continued further.


Part 2 to Rock Garden


This part is gruelling! It starts with a descent through a muddy sticky trail. Hold on to the roots and not trip over them. This trail turns into a stream of sticky, muddy, soil in the rain. The walking stick is a light sabre in this situation!

Every trail that starts with a downhill ends with an uphill!

The trail descends down to the gully and heads back up to the ridge. The ascend soon becomes a more intense workout of uneven flights of steps, with obstacles such as fallen trees, roots, leading to the steep eastern face of the Rock Garden.

There is a narrow rest point about 1/4 on the way up. We meet many hikers on our return league and they were panting for breath at this challenging stretch.

Reaching the ridge will take about 1 hour or more depending on your fitness!


Rock Garden


As we were hiking up Gunung Bunga Buah a thick cloud hanged menacingly over us. Some parts of the trail were wet, dark and depressing. But as soon as we reached the Rock Gardens the mood changed. There was an atmosphere of excitement as we arrive at the rock ridge.


Some clambering over rocks is required as you ascend into this soft carpet of moss. The exposed rock can be slippery when wet!

This narrow ridge of the Rock Garden has spectacular views. If arrive on a sunny day between 9-10am, you might just be greeted with a sea of clouds!

Be wary not to step too far out on the edge as it is a 90degree drop on the other side.


Sweeping views of Genting Highlands and the sea of clouds on a clear sunny morning

Gunung Bunga Buah 1430m


From the Rock Gardens to the peak, you trample over mossy ground from peat and humus creating that velvety carpet feel!

The abundance of moss and overhangs of epiphytes creates an out of the world feel. Bending over arches, soft mossy walls, some almost florescent green is surreal and enchanting! It took about 30 minutes to arrive at the peak from here! #gunungbungabuah



Along the final stretch to the peak, you will approach a flat area filled with overgrown fern. The trail opens up towards the west face of the mountain leading to the peak of Gunung Bunga Buah!

If you have been hiking for a bit, you will be familiar with this pyramid structure (triangulation station).

From the station, a breath-taking vantage point of Kuala Lumpur lay beneath you!


The triangulation station of Gunung Bunga Buah

Absorb the KL view beneath your feet, fill up, and head back down!



Flora and Fauna of the Cloud Forest

A cloud forest normally more than 500m in altitude mostly covered in fog, clouds, rain and moisture promotes the development of high biomass and biodiversity of epiphyte, particularly bryophytes, lichens, ferns (including filmy ferns), bromeliads and orchids.#mossyforest #cloudforest

The route from the Rock Gardens to the Peak fits all the descriptions of a cloud forest aka mossy forest. For further reads on cloud forest

Liverwort found in cloud forest on the ridge of Gunung Bunga Buah

Mittenothamnium reptans, a common inhabitant of rotting logs and fallen branches in cloud forests


Look like a variety of air plant in their own habitat

Due to the dry weather recently, the cloud forest is dry and moss seem withered

The decaying tree branches, rocks, twigs, are full of epiphytes. There is a huge variety of jungle orchids and 'monkey pitcher-plant in the rock garden area. Strangely on my second visit, although I spotted many Nepenthes plant but none of them had the pitcher cup.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nepenthes
Big mama monkey pitcher just towards the peak 1430m

Wild Jungle Orchid- so unique the flowers

Succulents and more orchids at elevations above 1000m



Monitor lizards on forest floor

WARNING: Please don't harvest the plants in the forest. They strive in unique environment and will not be suitable for your garden!


Reflections


This hike up Gunung Bunga Buah was one full of surprises. The rich biodiversity of the place is enough to blow any regular flora/fauna seeker away! And besides, any hike with the mossy forest is a bonus! They are unique and occupies only 1% of the global woodland!


The hike was organized by Back to Nature adventure team.

It is necessary to have a guide who is familiar and can lead on this hike. I did this hike completely ignorant about the leech infestation......... many in our group contributed their share of blood to the notorious parasite! Just come prepared with enough ammunition to protect from these suckers!


Due to the wet trail, this hike was more physically demanding than most hikes.

At the very end of the trail, we still had to muster a whole lot of energy to descend from the small but slippery slope. All of us came out unscathed but drained and exhausted!

On a lighter note, my second attempt on dry weather was breeze. Relatively relaxing and pleasant hike with cool winds blowing from the east. So remember to check the weather forecast before your hike and try not to come during the wet season!


Don't let the name Fruit Flower Mountain fool you but it is worth every effort!

Disclaimer: After a landslide tragedy that took away more than 20 lives around Gothong Jaya, the owners of the private land are very strict with trespassers on the old trunk road. Therefore to summit GBB, we will need to enter a different trailhead! Hike with caution and care! #GBB


2.5km on the tarmac, 2.5km to rock garden, 1km to peak








Date visited: 11st October 2020, 22 May 2022